“There Is My Way … and Then There Is My Way”: College Transition Challenges for a Student on the Autism Spectrum
Growing numbers of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are matriculating to colleges throughout the USA. Though intellectually quite capable, these students are faced with some unique challenges in making the transition to college. This chapter presents the case of a youth with ASD as he negotiates primary and secondary school and goes through the process of selecting a school, then preparing for and transitioning to college. Important steps in developing not only critical social skills, but skills that foster independence and self-advocacy are discussed. The roles of home supports (high school counselor, therapist, psychiatrist, and family) in collaboration with the receiving school (student counseling center, student disability center, peer mentors, and specialized programs) in fostering readiness and facilitating a successful transition are reviewed. Key elements contributing to a failed initial transition are explored and corrective steps and resources leading to acceptance of his diagnosis and the need for support and his subsequent successful transition are identified.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder in college Asperger syndrome College student disability services College transition readiness High functioning autism College social skills role playing Self-advocacy in college
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